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Get Rid of Bed Bugs with Our Treatment Guide

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Let’s get rid of your bed bugs.

So you know you have some unwanted, tiny guests. Now, it’s time to get rid of them. But how?

There’s a lot of conflicting information online about bed bug treatment. Pest control experts will tell you their favorite treatment; the Internet will tell you dubious DIY tricks; and even the most expensive treatment doesn’t always work if you don’t know how to properly prepare for it.

At the Bed Bug Adviser, we investigated every type of treatment option we could find. From fumigation, to chemical treatment, to DIY treatments, even the sprays and traps you can buy at your local Home Depot, we’ve tried it all. If you’re trying to decide, let us be your guide. Here’s a few of the treatment questions we usually get at the Bed Bug Adviser…

Q: What are the kinds of bed bug treatments?
There are 3 major options in professional pest control: heat treatment, chemical treatment, and fumigation.

Q: What is the cheapest bed bug treatment?
Chemical (pesticide) applications are the cheapest treatment for bed bugs.

Q: How long does a professional bed bug treatment take?
It depends on the type of treatment. Heat treatment generally takes between 6 and 24 hours. Chemical treatments typically include 3-4 applications with 2 weeks between each – for a total of 6-8 weeks. Fumigation can take between 3 days and a week.

Q: How expensive is a bed bug treatment?
The cost varies by the type of treatment, but according to the 2017 National Pest Management Association Survey (NPMA) of Pest Management Professionals (PMPs), the average cost of any professional treatment was $771 in the US.

This varies a lot by treatment, demand in your area, and from professional to professional. Chemical treatments are the cheapest, but take a long time – and you still have to live, sleep, eat somewhere while all that is going on.

Q: What is the best treatment for bed bugs?
There is no “best treatment” when it comes to bed bugs. There’s pros and cons to all 3 types of treatment.

Fumigation is the most likely to deal with your bed bug problem once and for all, but it is by far the most expensive and the most disruptive –  you will have to leave your house for 3 days to a week.
Chemical treatments are the cheapest, but they take 6-8 weeks and 3-4 applications to be sure you’ve gotten rid of the bugs, which is 6-8 more weeks of living with bed bugs.
Heat treatment works best in smaller spaces, like a one or two bedroom apartment. It’s fast, but it’s more expensive than chemical treatment, and requires a highly trained technician with constant monitoring in order to ensure all areas of the apartment get hot enough.

Q: Are bed bug chemicals harmful to me or my pet?
You should avoid contact with commercial pesticides for several hours after application. Once the pesticides have dried they present little to no threat to the health or safety of you or your pets.

Q: What are some home remedies to get rid of bed bugs?
There are many different home remedies for bed bugs, but we strongly recommend that you do not try to treat this problem yourself. Here’s a few…

Diatomaceous Earth (DE) is the most commonly advised product. However, unless you get food grade DE you risk severe damage to your lungs, akin to that of asbestos.
Another commonly suggested home remedy for bed bugs: rubbing alcohol, which is not only ineffective but also very flammable and risks setting your furniture, house, apartment, or car on fire.
Sprays are only effective if you can actually find the bugs, which is the hard part. Bed bugs are so good at hiding that sprays which kill on contact will only be able to get rid of, at most, 10% of an infestation. Not only that but many sprays –  including rubbing alcohol – are actually really dangerous to humans.
Traps don’t present a danger, but they aren’t very effective. As traps get dirty over time with dust, pet hair, human hair, or whatever else may be in your bedroom, the bugs become able to overcome the traps. You’d have to clean them every day to make them even somewhat effective. And even then, there’s no guarantee of safety. Bed bugs can still transfer to your sleeping area by hitching a ride on your clothes, your pet, a pillow that fell off the side of the bed, or the comforter that touches the ground at night.

Q: What is the best way to treat bed bugs myself?
Don’t do it. You’ll only prolong the infestation.

Bed bugs are incredibly difficult pests. Even exterminators rate them as the hardest problem they face, and the hardest to permanently eliminate. It is extremely unlikely you will be able to successfully treat this problem yourself, and an incomplete attempt at dealing with bed bugs can actually make the problems worse, not better.

 

TypeAverage Time to CompleteAverage CostEffectiveness
Fumigation3-7 days$5,000-$6,000Very effective
Chemical treatment6-8 weeks$300 per roomUsually effective, but bed bugs still bite throughout treatment
Heat treatment6-24 hours$1,100-$2,000Very effective, but gets more expensive based on the size of property

 

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